From my Friday Signal over at FM’s blog:
….It’s a very big year for Microsoft, in terms of the initiatives the company is launching, in particular in the consumer space (its business/commercial space is already cranking out tons of products, but the company’s focus on consumer products has hit a tipping point). Natal, Bing (updated version is coming soon), Windows Phone 7, Office 2010, the company’s cloud initiative (which has sigificant consumer angles)…it’s quite a lot.
…Recall three of the major trends that I predicted for 2010: One, that someone will create an open gaming platform; two, that Microsoft will take second place in search share (from Yahoo); and three, that we’ll see a major advance in the user interface of the web.
Here’s how Microsoft might address those opportunities, in order: Xbox, Bing, and Natal (not to mention Pivot and stuff like PhotoSynth). Now, imagine how these all might work together. Xbox is more than a gaming platform, it’s a major portal to social networking and engagement in the living room (there are more than 20 million users of Xbox Live, for example). Combined with Natal, you’ve got a new gestural interface to the digital world. And there is no reason why you can’t use Natal to surf the web on your TV (and, in time, your PC), given the right UI and apps. Were Microsoft to decide to open up a web-savvy API and SDK into the Xbox and let its legions of developers innovate on that interface, imagine what might occur. And, of course, Bing would be the search engine of choice for this living room environment, driving share. Sounds like a stretch? All the pieces are there. It’s now about whether the company can take many hands, and make great work. (more)